The Finished And Unfinished WORK Of Jesus

You can’t be a faithful Christian and be lazy! And some would argue, rightly so, that there is no such thing as an unfaithful Christian. Laziness is a sin, especially in one’s faith walk. Here’s why I think that laziness is a sin.

  1. Work is a significant part of the cultural mandate in Genesis Chapter 1. God’s image bearers have work to do in God’s good world. Work is a part of mankind expressing the Image of God in each of us. Genesis 2:15 says, The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”
  2. Jesus described His ministry as a WORK. Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work” (John 4:34).
  3. Faith without works is dead according to James Chapter 2. So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
  4. We Christians were created for good works which God has especially prepared for each of us. Ephesians 2:10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
  5. I really love the little reference to Mary in Romans 16 where Paul says to Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you.” (He said a similar thing about Epaphras in Colossians 4.)


All that to say that Christians love to celebrate the FINISHED work of Jesus at the Cross. He paid the debt of our sin in full. He took our place as the atoning sacrifice for our sin. Just before He died, He himself pronounced that “it is finished” (John 19:30).

But Christians also love God’s UNFINISHED work. He’s still writing His story in the world. He’s continuing the unfinished work of building His church (Matthew 16:18). And we who are active members in the local church are working right alongside Him. If we are not lazy, uncommitted and indifferent. The call of being a Christian is a call to serve Him in the good works He has prepared for us in the local church. The church is the place for holy, hard work. Not lazy, half-hearted Christians. 

This Sunday we return to our series called, “We Believe,” with a focus on our conviction that the local church is God’s primary agent for advancing the Gospel in the world today. 

Here’s what we are going to examine (Statement No. 8):

WE BELIEVE the New Testament local church is a company of immersed believers voluntarily associated together for the ministry of the Word, mutual edification, observance of the ordinances and the fulfillment of the great commission (making disciples, baptizing, and teaching, unto the ends of the earth). WE BELIEVE the church is to be sovereign and under no higher ecclesiastical authority. WE BELIEVE that Christians are to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. WE BELIEVE that there are only two (2) ordinances for the church regularly observed in the New Testament in the following order: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. WE BELIEVE Baptism to be the immersion of the believer in water, whereby he obeys Christ’s command and sets forth his identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. WE BELIEVE the Lord’s Supper to be the memorial wherein the believer partakes of the two (2) elements, bread and wine, which symbolize the Lord’s body and shed blood, proclaiming His death until He comes.

Plan to join your church family on Sunday morning @ 9AM or 11AM as we dive into our core beliefs.

Pastor Deric


I have TWO birth certificates. One marks my physical birth and the other my spiritual birth. One records that I was physically born on February 16, 1963, in Stanley, New Brunswick. My parents were Shirley and Wendall Bartlett. The other is a record of my name being written in the “Lamb’s Book of Life” (Revelation 21:27). It was the day that I said YES to Jesus’ invitation to come to Him for the rest that my soul craved. It was the day that I was BORN AGAIN. It was the day that Jesus reconciled me to God the Almighty as my Heavenly Father. I don’t know the exact day, but I remember the exchange vividly. 

Speaking of being born again, Jesus said emphatically, categorically and truthfully that, “You must be born again.” He said it was the requirement for entering the “Kingdom of God.” That means you don’t get in without it. Check it out in John Chapter 3. A woman asked her pastor one day, “Why do you always say that you must be born again?” To which the pastor answered, ‘Because, “you must be born again.”’ 

The Bible uses other words to describe the same spiritual transformation. Think, “regeneration,” “born anew,” and “saved.” But they are all describing the same event. The moment the Bible says that you were transferred from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of Jesus. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14).

I once had a fellow pastor poke me for my emphasis on what he identified as my “pet” doctrine, i.e., “being born again.” I’ve reflected on that conversation numerous times through the years.  On one hand, I’m sad for those who were under his spiritual guidance. The Christian life is no life at all if a person is not born by the Spirit. Church traditions be damned. There is no assurance of eternal life without the new birth. And there is no relationship with God apart from the spiritual awakening of new life in Christ. You were meant to become a “new creation in Christ Jesus” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

However, I’ve also concluded that there was some truth in what he was trying to say to me.  Baptists in particular and evangelicals in general, have trusted too much in saying a prayer and leading people through a Bible formula without the accompanying work of the Holy Spirit of God.  This is one of the reasons that I love the teaching of Titus 3, verses 4 to 7. Listen carefully to what it says. “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”  He saved us by His own mercy through the cleansing of the new birth and the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. 

This Sunday we continue our series, “We Believe,” visiting our church’s core belief statements.  This week is the statement that “we believe in salvation by grace alone.” Here’s what it says: “WE BELIEVE that salvation is the free gift of God, neither merited nor secured in part or in whole by any virtue or work of man, but received only by a personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is bestowed only by the sovereign grace of God through the all-sufficient sacrifice of Christ and is provided for all. WE BELIEVE that those whom God has effectually called shall be preserved and finally perfected in the image of God.”

J.I. Packer describes salvation this way . . . “The traitor is forgiven, brought in for supper, and given the family name. To be right with God the Judge is a great thing, but to be loved and cared for by God the Father is greater.”

God willing, I will see you Sunday in either the 9AM or the 11AM service.
Pastor Deric